York City 2, Boston United 1

YORK City stretched their lead at the top of the National League North table to eight points after battling hard to record a 2-1 win over Boston United at Bootham Crescent.

Alex Kempster put York in front at half-time with his effort from a rebound before strike partner Jordan Burrow doubled the lead with a brilliant diving header from a corner.

Boston’s position of 13th belied their quality though and they came back to cut the gap through a Jay Rollins strike.

But in the end it wasn’t enough to stop the York charge for promotion. It’s now 18 games without defeat this season - a figure increased to 20 if you were to include the end to last season too.

York weren’t at their best and much like their trip to Chester they had to dig in when the game got scrappy.

Though as they enter November, they find themselves significantly clear of their nearest challengers at the top and they are in the first round of the FA Cup.

Steve Watson made just one change from the side which recorded the weekend’s vital at Chester. Nathan Dyer replaced Kallum Griffiths at right-wing-back, presumably owing to an injury for the latter.

The York boss also retained the 5-2-3 formation with Dan Maguire leading the line in front of the slightly deeper duo of Kempster and Burrow.

It meant that City were generally outnumbered in midfield, with Boston seeing more of the ball in the opening quarter of an hour.

York though did create the best of the opportunities in that period, admittedly half-chances.

Andy Bond saw an effort blocked behind for a corner before another set-piece led to Kempster floating a half-cross-half-shot just inches wide of the post.

Given York’s impeccable defence this term, it was surprising that Boston’s first chance came from one of their mistakes.

The defence failed to clear a bouncing ball around the edge of their area and the ball fell kindly to Boston top-scorer Jordan Thewlis.

Peter Jameson though came up with another of many great saves produced this season, rushing out to give Thewlis little time at the shot and saving it with his legs.

Little seemed to click into gear for York throughout the half. Even the ever-impressive David Ferguson was failing to find the mark with his crosses from the left flank.

After the half hour mark, York began to create better chances. Kempster broke clear through the middle before Burrow curled an effort just wide of the far post.

By that point, Boston keeper Peter Crook hadn’t really been tested. Moments later he was and he failed to pass the test.

The persistent work of Maguire up front led the way and allowed Bond to shoot for goal just outside the area.

It looked like a routine stop for Crook but he couldn’t push it clear, instead sending it into the path of Kempster who had the simple task of chipping it into the goal, and he duly obliged.

Despite mid-table position, Boston were not to be walkovers after falling behind. Indeed, they created the better of the chances in the half’s latter minutes.

Dominic Knowles had an effort on goal deflected which allowed Jameson to save before Thewlis sent a shot down the throat of the York shot-stopper.

As the half came to its conclusion, York led. Never before this season have they dropped points when in such a position - and in the end that record didn’t change.

Boston were the quickest out of the blocks as Thewlis had another great chance to get on the scoresheet when he turned past Joe Tait, though the quick-thinking Jameson rushed off his line to tackle the striker.

In the end, Boston were left to rue that chance as York went up to the other end of the field to increase their lead.

Ferguson attempted a corner which he played back to Dyer whose cross was clear. But Ferguson was forced to take it again - seemingly due to the ball being in the incorrect spot.

At the second go, the left-wing-back produced a fine cross at the near post and Burrow came up with an even better diving header which flashed past Crook at the near post.

Just five minutes later, Boston reduced the deficit with a goal that did seem to merit their efforts.

Jameson had been faultless up until this point but it was his miscued goal-kick that fell to Knowles who in turn picked out Rollins.

The forward made no mistake with his one-on-one chance, lashing it past Jameson at the front post and putting United back into the contest.

If Boston fans thought that the goal would be a turning point then those hopes were quickly dismissed as York reacted superbly.

Maguire almost reaffirmed the two-goal cushion after beating a couple of defenders in the area and striking straight at Crook.

His replacement Elliott Durrell caused similar problems for Crook, floating in a great cross which the keeper flapped clear.

Ferguson then had the best chance of the lot when the ball fell to him in the box. He fizzed a shot at goal which beat Crook but hit a defender and agonisingly deflected outside the post.

Led by the veteran skipper Steve McNulty at the back, York looked solid in defence as they closed out the three points.

Jameson made a fine stop with his fist from a corner in the last five minutes and that was as close as Boston came to producing a comeback.

The Minstermen’s unbeaten run goes on and there’s little sign of it stopping.

York City: Jameson 7, Dyer 6, Ferguson 6, Newton 7, McNulty (c) 7, Tait 6, Moke 7, Bond 6, Burrow 7, Maguire 6 (Durrell 6, 63), Kempster 7 (Green 5, 82). Subs not used: McFarlane, Green, King, Whitley.

Boston: Crook, Duhaney, Whittle, Platt, Ainge, Shiels (c), Woolford (Walker, 71), Abbott (Thanoj, 45), Knowles, Thewlis, Rollins (Penny, 73). Subs not used: Willis, Tuton.

Star Man: Steve McNulty. The captain barely lost a header all night and led the York backline which closed out the win in the second half.

Referee: Dean Hulme.

Attendance: 2,768 (112 away).